The Chicago Plan Commission has approved a proposal for a 51-story, 1.4-million-square-foot riverside skyscraper in the city's central business district, according to Commercial Property Executive.
The project, led by developer Howard Hughes Corp., will feature retail and restaurants as well as conference space and a fitness facility along with 26,000-square-foot to 30,000-square foot rentable floor plates.
- The building's exterior will be clad in an aluminum and glass curtainwall. The developer included plans for a 45-foot-wide pedestrian walkway along the river in its efforts to create a public plaza around the structure.
The 800-foot tower would be the tallest office high-rise built in Chicago since 1990. In January, the development team, which also includes Riverside Investment and Development, Goettsch Partners and CBRE, said Clark Construction would serve as the general contractor and that the building's construction would take three years.
Although development has been booming in the city, the Chicago River has been a particular draw for both residential and commercial building. In September, Lendlease and joint venture partner CMK Companies started construction on the $1.5 billion Chicago Riverline, a development that will ultimately provide 3,600 residential units through a mix of townhouses and for-rent and for-sale condominium and apartment towers.
Hines Interests, developer of the T3 in Minneapolis, which is the largest contemporary wood building in the U.S., is planning a similar building for Chicago's Goose Island on the Chicago River. The industrial area is expected to pick up the pace of commercial development, and the proposed all-wood building would be one of the first new projects there.
Development in Chicago, however, is not limited to the riverside. The city has become a draw for corporate relocations and workers who want a relatively affordable urban lifestyle. Construction equipment giant Caterpillar is the latest company to announce plans to move to the Chicago area, leaving its headquarters of 100 years — in Peoria, IL — behind.